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MIT Creates Class About Soap Operas 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the stranger-than-fiction dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wikipedia apparently wasn't enough. There had to be a course on the much needed subject of soap operas at MIT. Here's the Course Description: "The television landscape has changed drastically in the past few years; nowhere is this more prevalent than in the American daytime serial drama, one of the oldest forms of television content. This class examines the history of these "soap operas" and their audiences by focusing on the production, consumption, and media texts of soaps. The class will include discussions of what makes soap operas a unique form, the history of the genre, current experimentation with transmedia storytelling, the online fan community, and comparisons between daytime dramas and primetime serials from 24 to Friday Night Lights, through a study of Procter & Gamble's As the World Turns."" All I really need to know I learned from my evil twin, who fathered my unborn child, who has a extremely rare disease that only one of my many CIA contacts, who is also sleeping with my wife, can cure.
Nintendo

Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-what-now dept.
Kotaku points out a recent patent filed by Nintendo which automates gameplay unless the user specifically chooses to play a particular part of the game. Quoting: "The new system, described in a patent filed by Nintendo Creative Director Shigeru Miyamoto on June 30, 2008, but made public today, looks to solve the issue of casual gamers losing interest in a game before they complete it, while still maintaining the interest of hardcore gamers. The solution would turn a game into a full-length cut scene of sorts, allowing players to jump into and out of the action whenever they wanted. But when played this way, gamers would not be able to save their progress, maintaining the challenge of completing a game without skipping or cheating."
Earth

Space Is Just a Little Bit Closer Than Expected 130

Posted by timothy
from the winter-shrinkage dept.
SpuriousLogic points out a BBC story which begins "The upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere are much lower than expected, a US Air Force satellite has found. Currently, the ionosphere — a layer of charged particles that envelopes the planet — is at an altitude of about 420km, some 200km lower than expected. The behaviour of the ionosphere is important because disturbances in its structure can upset satellite communications and radar."

Comment: TomTom did it! (Score 4, Informative) 119

by wfberg (#25674009) Attached to: Project Turns GPS Phones Into Traffic Reporters

TomTom takes anonymized location information from mobile phone handsets in The Netherlands, and make traffic reports they call HD traffic.

The handsets are not (necessarily) equipped with GPS chips, but their location is triangulated by the GSM network itself. The mobile network (Vodafone NL) supplies the information to TomTom, who then process it into traffic reports.

They claim to cover 10 times more roadarea than conventional traffic detection that uses inductive loops embedded in the roads. (The conventional system is already quite extensive in The Netherlands, which is a small and densely populated country). I seem to recall TomTom also have some sort of patent.

Google

Was the Yahoo-Google Deal a Ploy To Weaken Yahoo? 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the reply-hazy-ask-again dept.
JagsLive writes with a link to a BetaNews story about a US Senator who is questioning whether the deal between Yahoo and Google was brokered with less than honorable intentions on Google's part. The advertising deal came under scrutiny from the Department of Justice recently for potential antitrust violations. The deal has now been delayed in order to allow investigators more time for evaluation. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Yahoo will cut as much as 20% of its workforce after an internal memo from CEO Jerry Yang called for "discipline" and said the company was "getting fit" for the long term. For their part, Google has launched a site endorsing the deal and attempting to smooth the way for its approval by providing facts and positive reactions from experts.
Sony

+ - Your Blu-ray player won't play future discs

Submitted by wfberg
wfberg (24378) writes "Having won the format war, Blu-ray Disc Association president Andy Parsons expressed his gratitude to early adopters saying 'it's normal for new technology to change and older hardware to become obsolete'. Apparently, BD 2.0 discs will not play on current hardware, and only the PS3 might be upgradeable to 2.0. The explanation for putting out an incomplete standard? "We should have waited another year to introduce Blu-ray to the public, but the format war changed the situation""
The Courts

Ohio Recount Rigging Case Goes to Court 224

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the counting-down-the-hits dept.

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the trial of the three election workers accused of rigging the 2004 presidential election recount in Cuyahoga County is finally underway. As you may recall, this was the case where poll workers 'randomly' selected the precincts to recount by first eliminating from consideration precincts where the number of ballots handed out on Election Day failed to match the number of ballots cast and, then opening the ballot boxes in private and pre-counting until they found cases which would match up. What is interesting here is that they have already admitted doing this and that it was clearly counter to the letter and the spirit of the law, but still insist it wasn't really 'wrong,' presumably since they only did it to avoid having to go to the bother of a full recount as required by law.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

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